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Casshern Sins Part 1 and 2 Blu-ray Review

 

“Casshern Sins” sounds promising on paper, but it winds up being a poorly executed anime series.

The plot: For years now, a planet has been ruled by Braiking Boss and his robot army, but his dominion is threatened when a young woman named Luna (who is said to the light source of the planet) wants to save mankind. Wanting her dead, Boss assigns his cybernetic warrior named Casshern to kill her. The mission is eventually carried out, but as a result, the planet becomes wiped out by what is known as the ruin. Many years later, Casshern finds that he cannot remember what has happened, but he knows that many robots want him dead for his actions. The bulk of the series involved Casshern wandering the wastelands fighting robots, learning about his past, searching for Luna (who is apparently still alive), meeting a wide variety of robots (like a singer and disabled robots) and traveling with a robot dog (Friender), a little robot girl (Ringo), a robotic woman who initially wanted revene against Casshern (Lyuze), and a robot technician (Ohji) who created Casshern and two other cybernetic warriors (Dio and Leda).

After a previous anime series, an OVA, and a live-action movie, “Casshern” is back in a new 24 episode anime series but, unfortunately, the franchise’s return isn’t exactly a homerun. Sure, the robot fighting action sequences are intense and the animation (most notably the atmospheric environments) makes the world come to life, but these positive elements can only get you so far. “Casshern” is quite simply a mess. The premise and characters sound interesting on paper, but the execution of the series leaves much to be desired. The biggest problem of the series is the direction which is aggravating to say the least. The constant extreme close-ups, the awkward story beats and pacing, and the overuse of internal monologues really makes it difficult to watch. As any director knows, you are supposed to show not tell, but this series is certainly more concerned with telling. On the subject of the story, I found it to be overly complicated with far too many side stories and subplots crammed into the 24 episode run. Had the story been more focused on the central story and contained less scenes of the annoying Ringo or Casshern wandering and encountering other robots, it definitely would have been a better show.

Summary: Despite some interesting elements, I sadly cannot recommend “Casshern Sins.” If you’re looking for a good Funimation series check out “Jyu-Oh-Sei” or “Sgt. Frog.”

The widescreen 1080p picture quality does a fine job with this colorful, stylized show despite the awkward direction.

These two sets contain Dolby TrueHD English 5.1 and Dolby TrueHD Japanese 2.0 audio tracks. The English track really delivers when it comes to sound f/x (like the wind) and the TV shaking action/fight scenes, but the voice work is hit-and-miss (as mentioned above). The Japanese audio track is superior when it comes to the voice work, but it’s a shame it’s only a mere 2.0 track as the action sounds far better on the 5.1 track.

Extras:
* Funimation series trailers.
* Textless opening and closing songs.
* Footage from a screening of “Casshern Sins” including a Q&A with the Japanese voice cast.

* “Casshern” commercials.

* Mini-concert- A live performance of the theme song from the screening.

August 19, 2010 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , ,

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